Lennox Lewis reignites Anthony Joshua rivalry with Wilder prediction
Lennox Lewis has reignited his rivalry with Anthony Joshua by backing Deontay Wilder to beat the Brit should the heavyweight titans come to blows later this year in Saudi Arabia. Eddie Hearn has confirmed that talks to stage the bout – on the same night as Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury – are ongoing with figures in the Middle East and there is a burning desire from all parties to make the mouthwatering matchup happen.
Should the dream schedule materialise, we could see an undisputed heavyweight champion for the first time since Lewis, whose reign formally ended back in April 2000.
Lewis is a keen admirer of his former division although he does not see eye-to-eye with his compatriot Joshua following a series of petty incidents and verbal exchanges.
When asked to pick a winner from AJ vs Wilder, Lewis went with the Bronze Bomber although it must be noted, it appears he genuinely thinks the American will win.
The Lion told ESNEWS: “Joshua against Wilder? Definitely Wilder.
“Wilder’s got that thing in him where he wants to hurt you and I’ve seen it every time he throws that right hand, he’s trying to damage you with that right hand. He throws it with intention.”
Interestingly, the tension between Joshua and Wilder escalated several years ago when Lewis questioned AJ’s inability to make a fight with his American rival.
He had told Boxing Scene: “He wants to go around making money.
“I think that’s going to be a downfall for him. He has to stay with it, he can’t be in the background.
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“If he wants to be champion, he has to act like a champion.”
The bad blood appears to stem from the start of Joshua’s professional career when AJ reportedly flew to Jamaica to sit down with Lewis and discuss the prospect of teaming up together in the future.
Yet Lewis would never receive a call from Joshua despite the young heavyweight declaring he would be in touch for some further guidance.
Since then the pair have continued to take public swipes at one another with Joshua particularly unaccepting of Lewis’ criticism after several of his fights.
In one instance, Joshua told Sky Sports: “Lennox is a clown. I don’t respect Lennox. Me and Lennox are not the same.
“My legacy is to sit back and enjoy the younger generation coming up, and not to be involved.
“Just to appreciate what it takes to get there. Lennox isn’t like that. Me and Lennox are cut from a different cloth.”
Joshua could yet be about again in late July or August before he jumps into the ring with Wilder as he is keen to rebuild some momentum ahead of a potentially career-defining showdown with the Bronze Bomber.
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